Maryland v. Shatzer

Marylandv. Shatzer

Marylandv. Shatzer

Itwas in 2003 when the police department started an investigation onMichael Shatzer, a respondent, who had earlier on been alleged ofsexually abusing his son who was three years of age. The ShaneBlankenship Detectives visited him on August 7, 2003, in theCorrectional Institution of Maryland where he had been incarceratedfor an offense that was unrelated to the case (Misner, 2014). Duringthe meeting, the detectives clearly explained to him about hisMiranda rights. After the explanation, and provision of clear reasonswhy they had visited, Shatzer went on revoking his Miranda rightsrefused to speak on the allegations and declared that he would onlydo so in the presence of the counsel. This move brought the case to ahalt as the interview ended and the investigation processes shut.

Thecase was picked up in February 2006 when the molested son was a bitolder and presumably able to raise particular allegations in linewith the case. The police departments started new investigations onthe case. On 2nd March, Paul Hoover, a detective, visited Shatzer atthe correctional facility of Roxbury where he was serving a term fora separate offense where he had been transferred during the entireperiod. After the explanation of the situation, Shatzer has advisedagain of his Miranda rights (Misner, 2014). This time, he went aheadto sign a form renouncing his Miranda rights and asserted that he hada right to be given a counsel at the date of interrogation.

Thesituation took the same phase on March 7, 2006, when he was subjectedto a polygraph test. On the declaration that he had failed the testafter he had concluded it, the detectives began interrogating him. Itwas during the interrogation process that Shatzer turned out to beemotional and shouted that he did not force the boy. He then demandedthe counsel and the interview came to an end. In June the same year,the police charged Shatzer with several offenses including the sexualoffense. However, before the trial, he tried to suppress thestatements he had made in 2006 on the ground that they had beenobtained through 451 U.S 471 (1981) violations (Misner, 2014). Thoughthe Maryland court refused to suppress the statements, the SupremeCourt reversed the ruling to protect him from self-incrimination. Iagree with the court’s decision of giving a 14-day break before anyinterrogation process goes on to allow the suspect to getacclimatized with the outside life, talk to close friends and familymembers and eliminate the coercive implications of the prior custody.However, I think that the court could have made the period at leasttwo months for Shatzer to be fully acclimatized.

Althoughthe use of the GPS tracking device seems to have significantimplications for individual privacy and confidentiality in this ageof information, I am of the opinion that it is the way to go if wehave to curb terrorism and other crimes. Naturally, the contemporarysituation has compelled the police officers to make use of technologyto track criminals. The GPS tracker, usually made of a magnet isattached to the outer parts of the suspect`s vehicle. The device hashigh levels of accuracy and transmits information to the centralcontrol system. This setting gives room for the law enforcers tobring together particular records of the location of the vehicleduring the surveillance period. Although this seems to be against theFourth Amendment privacy expectations (Gershman, 2011), I think it isnecessary for the law enforcers to carry out the practice evenwithout the courts` approval so as to handle the ever-rising criminalactivities.


Gershman,B. L. (2011). Privacy Revisited: GPS Tracking as Search and Seizure.PaceLaw Review,30(3),927-964.

Misner,H. (2014). : stamping a fourteen-day expirationdate on Miranda rights. DenverUniversity Law Review,88(1),289-311.